Finishing Mug Rugs & Table Mats

A couple of weeks ago two different people came up to me to say thank you for a tip on finishing small potholders etc. They had both had difficulty gluing down a finished back without bumps and globs showing through. Since I was just finishing up some mug rugs, I thought there might be others who would appreciate seeing how I do it.

I love hunting for mugs which have a “hookable” picture on them, since they are fun to hook, and  my family really seems to appreciate them.

DSCN0211This one was an obvious choice as being easy to hook.

DSCN0243Both one son and his wife have names starting with “S”  so this was really appropriate.

DSCN0237I thought this was really pretty as well. I chose to hook just the one flower on the bottom.

I enjoy rummaging through my bits and pieces to come up with appropriate colours. DSCN0210.jpgThis one was a great exercise in hooking diagonally.

When the hooking is completed, I secure the edge by putting tacky glue right around the edge, and smoothing it out away from the hooking with a ruler.DSCN0220DSCN0221This secures the hooking for when the backing is cut away.

I use a fairly heavy black felt for the back, and cut a piece that is slightly too big.DSCN0224.jpg

Oops….I grabbed very dull scissors to cut this piece.

Apply tacky glue to the back of the hooking…..DSCN0225Then…(and this is the part I didn’t do at first, and ended up with a lumpy backing)….use a ruler or flat edge to smooth the glue into the hooking…DSCN0226I make sure the wool is covered and as well as a bit of the backing on the edges…DSCN0228 (1)….then gently press the felt down all over and let it dry.DSCN0230 (1)Then cut away the backing and excess felt from the top side making a smooth edge right next to the hooking. (good sharp scissors needed )DSCN0234 (1)The layers on the edge are even and ready to be covered.

I cut strips that are a few sizes bigger than the hooking (in this case the hooking is a #4 and the edging is a #6).

The final step is my least favourite, and I’m still trying to think of a way to make it less messy…..

I put a bead of glue along the strip and then drag the ruler along it to spread the glue (I did it on a plastic bag to save my desk from being covered in glue)DSCN0235This piece is smoothed along the edges for the final finishing touch. Finally, by pinching and shaping the corners while the glue is still wet, you can get a nice square turn.DSCN0236…….and here are the finished little mug rugs…..

DSCN0249DSCN0248DSCN0250DSCN0251I know that none of this is new to most hookers, but for those of you who are newbies, or have never tried this method, perhaps it will be helpful.

So from my house to yours…..DSCN0252…..I wish you the happiest of holidays and the making of wonderful memories with your loved ones.

Thanks for stopping by.


17 thoughts on “Finishing Mug Rugs & Table Mats

  1. Thank you so much,,,, thats a great tutorial! , I do exactly that but have not tried the finishing strip yet,,, will definitely give that a try!! Your mugs and mug mats are wonderful! ,, happy christmas and holidays to you and yours as well,,,,, love your blogs and pics,,,,,

  2. Thank you as always Elizabeth, always learn something fresh from you. Have a lovely holiday season with all who are dear to you. X

  3. I love your idea of matching mug to mug rug, I haven’t tried that yet, but I think I will be doing so soon. I love the clarity of your tutorials, thanks so much. I hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday.

  4. I love the mug rugs and if I were finishing them, I would leave an extra two rows of holes around the edge and fold them over and crochet all around the edge through the holes with the same or a contrast coloured yarn or a finer cut of your hooking fabric. No mess, glue or sticky fingers. It will also hide the edges of your backing fabric, Merry Christmas.

  5. How fun to see your mug rugs! My group exchanged 7 of them at our meeting earlier this month – pictures can be seen on a recent blog post. Everyone enjoyed the results!

  6. Thanks so much for your tutorial, I learned a ton and can’t wait to shop for mugs that I will look at very differently now! I tried to make coasters once and cut too close to the hooking so the outside loop fell off. I will try the strip around the edge for a nicer finish.

    • A whip stitch is certainly an option Jen, but the finishing then would have to be entirely different (not cut away right next to the hooking). I like this general method because it avoids whipping (which is not my favourite activity).

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